Desk mats help define your workstation while protecting the surface underneath from nicks, scratches, and ink stains. "A treated leather that is water-resistant is my favorite, but there are also tons of synthetic and recycled materials that provide a great surface," says professional organizer and home stylist Holly Blakey of Breathing Room.
Orbitkey Desk Mat
Magnetic cable holder
No grippy backing
"The main functions of a desk mat include desk protection, organization, and a better surface for writing so your keyboard doesn't slide around and your mouse moves more smoothly," says Blakey. This sounds like a tall order for a relatively simple product, but the Orbitkey Desk Mat checks all of these boxes—and then some.
It's made of smooth vegan leather and has a soft felt backing to protect the surface underneath from scratches, knicks, ink, and spills. The water-repellent material is also super easy to wipe clean. Notable features include a magnetic cable holder you can move along the toolbar to keep your cords tangle-free and in place. There's also a hidden layer for stashing important papers or post-it notes you want handy but out of the way.
This desk mat doesn't have a non-slip backing, but the weight of your keyboard should prevent it from sliding around. And while the price is steep, we think it's worth the investment.
Price at time of publish: $80 for a Medium size
Dimensions: 27 x 14.5 inches, 31.5 x 12 inches, 35.5 x 16.5 inches | Material: Vegan leather, felt | Color: Black, off-white
Ikea Susig Cork Desk Pad
Resists dents and cracks
Only one size
Can stain with spills
Ikea makes a great budget option: the Susig Desk Pad, which is made of 100 percent cork, an inherently grippy and naturally antimicrobial material that won't harbor bacteria or mold. Cork is also considered a renewable resource, plus it bounces back from dents and reseals itself in the event of minor scratches and cracks.
Though it only comes in one size, it should fit most desks. While cork is naturally water-resistant, you'll want to make sure you wipe up any spills ASAP, as this desk mat can develop marks if liquids are left to sit and soak in.
Price at time of publish: $9
Dimensions: 25.5 x 18 inches | Material: Cork | Color: Natural
MarroneLeather Personalized Leather Desk Mat
Soft yet durable
Five colors available
Only one size
Pricey with engraving
Partial to real leather? Check out the handmade Personalized Leather Desk Mat from MarroneLeather's Etsy shop. Crafted from top-grain genuine leather, this made-to-order desk pad is soft yet durable and perfectly smooth for gliding your mouse around.
You can choose from five neutral, sophisticated hues and even get it engraved with a monogram, motivational quote, or special gift message. Though it feels like a total luxury, the price is reasonable—but you'll pay about double if you opt for engraving.
Price at time of publish: $48
Dimensions: 31.5 x 16 inches | Material: Leather | Color: Black, brown, gray, navy, green
DeltaHub Minimalistic Felt Desk Protective Pad
Soft yet strong
Easy to clean
Friction-free mouse movement
Will crease if folded
The DeltaHub Minimalistic Desk Pad is soft yet strong option made out of felt. Felt is uniquely durable, with exceptional resistance to heat. The absorbent, tear-resistant material2 is often used to protect floors and furniture, which is why it's a top choice for desk mats.
This mat is easy to clean with a handheld vacuum or a damp cloth. Your mouse will move around friction-free, while grippy rubber dots on the back prevent the entire thing from sliding around.
Price at time of publish: $50 for a Large size
Dimensions: 30 x 11 inches, 31.5 x 17.5 inches, 35.5 x 12 inches | Material: Felt, rubber | Color: Black, charcoal, gray, light gray
Best for Large Desks
Pupufu Large Leather Desk Pad
Water-repellent and heat-resistant
Easy to clean
Eight colors available
No grippy backing
If your workstation is more substantial, the Pupufu Large Desk Pad might be your best bet. It comes in three sizes, the largest of which measures 47 x 23.5 inches, and you can choose from eight colors.
This desk mat is made of durable, easy-to-clean vegan leather. Though it doesn't have a non-slip backing, the material is water-repellent, oil-proof, and resistant to high heat.
Price at time of publish: $29 for a Large size
Dimensions: 35.5 x 17 inches, 47 x 17.5 inches, 47 x 23.5 inches | Material: Vegan leather | Color: Black, brown, maroon, blue, pink, purple, mint, gray
Best for Small Desks
Logitech Studio Series Desk Mat
Soft, smooth surface
Edges may fray
For smaller desks, we recommend Logitech's Studio Series Desk Mat. It's just 27.5 x 12 inches, but that's big enough for a keyboard and mouse, and it fits easily on writing desks, built-ins, countertops, and other compact workstations.
This mat made of soft, smooth polyester and has a non-slip rubber backing. While this product is spill-resistant, easy to clean, and conveniently rollable, you should know the stitched edges may fray over time.
Price at time of publish: $20
Dimensions: 27.5 x 12 inches | Material: Polyester, rubber | Color: Rose, lavender, gray
Leatherology Classic Leather Desk Pad
Five colors available
No grippy backing
If you're open to spending more on curating the perfect home office, Leatherology's Classic Leather Desk Maton't disappoint. This splurge-worthy desk mat is made of buttery-soft, finely grained leather and features velvety microsuede on the back to prevent scratches.
There's no grippy backing, but the natural weight of the leather prevents it from sliding around. This desk protector comes in five handsome hues, and you can even personalize it with a debossed monogram.
Price at time of publish: $150 for a Signature Collection mat
Dimensions: 17 x 14 inches, 26.5 x 18 inches | Material: Leather, microsuede | Color: Black, brown, bordeaux, navy, cognac
Artistic Krystal View Plastic Desk Pad with Microban
Simple and modern
Durable yet flexible
Not ideal for lacquered desks
If you like the modern, pared-down look of a clear desk protector, go with the Krystal View Desk Pad. The transparent design is made of durable yet flexible plastic.
It's easy to lift, but thanks to an invisible non-slip backing, it stays firmly in place under your mouse and keyboard. This product is also treated with Microban antimicrobial protection to keep bacteria and mold at bay. Just a heads up, it's not recommended for lacquered desks or surfaces with acrylic finishes.
Dimensions: 22 x 17 inches, 24 x 19 inches, 36 x 20 inches, 38 x 24 inches | Material: Plastic | Color: Clear
KeySmart TaskPad Wireless Charging Desk Pad
Built-in wireless charger
Smooth-gliding mouse pad
Waterproof and scratch-resistant
Only one color
You might also consider something with smart features, like the KeySmart TaskPad. This desk mat has a built-in wireless charger that powers up your phone or tablet without having to plug anything in. Once your device reaches 100 percent battery, the charge will hold until you remove it.
Made of cushioned vegan leather, this desk protector is waterproof and scratch-resistant, while a non-slip backing prevents it from sliding around. The micro-textured, flat surface also doubles as a smooth-gliding mouse pad.
Dimensions: 12 x 7 inches, 35 x 16.5 inches | Material: Aluminum alloy, vegan leather | Color: Black
Ysagi Multifunctional Waterproof Desk Mat Blotter Protector
Lots of sizes/colors
No grippy backing
This multifunctional product is more than just a traditional desk mat. It can be used as a pad for hand-written letters, cards, and notes, as well as a table blotter for writing with ink pens or painting.
The reversible Ysagi Desk Mat is smooth on one side and slightly textured on the other. Made of durable vegan leather, it's also 100 percent waterproof, scratch-resistant, and rollable for enhanced portability and convenient storage.
Dimensions: 23.5 x 13.5 inches, 31.5 x 15.5 inches, 35.5 x 17 inches, 47 x 23.5 inches | Material: Vegan leather | Color: 21 colors available
Best for Gaming
Corsair MM700 RGB Extended Gaming Mouse Pad
Two USB ports
Multi-zone lighting profiles
Only one size
Only one color
Calling all gamers! The Corsair RGB Extended Mouse Pad is much more than a mouse pad. It's designed to cover your entire desktop gaming area, with plenty of room for your mouse, keyboard, controller, and headset stand.
The feature-rich design boasts two USB ports, customizable multi-zone lighting with 12 onboard profiles, and handy push controls on the side. It's made of a plush woven cloth for better mouse gliding and enhanced comfort, while a grippy rubber backing ensures it stays in place.
Dimensions: 36.5 x 16 inches | Material: Textile, padding, rubber | Color: Black
Overall, we like the Orbitkey Desk Mat on account of its water-repellent design, magnetic cable organizer, and clever document hideaway. But if you prefer genuine leather, we recommend the handmade MarroneLeather Personalized Desk Mat. And if you're on a budget, go with the naturally antimicrobial Ikea Susig Desk Pad.
What to Consider When Buying a Desk Mat
Desk mats can be made of various materials. The most popular include genuine leather, vegan leather, cork, plastic, felt, and various textiles, such as polyester or microfiber.
Professional organizer and home stylist Holly Blakey of Breathing Room is a fan of water-resistant full-grain leather, though she says synthetic options can be excellent too. Some feature a combination of materials, like the Orbitkey Desk Mat, which has a smooth faux leather surface and a protective felt backing.
Size and Thickness
When browsing options, consider what size you need. This should go without saying, but larger desks will generally require larger mats, and smaller workstations will need smaller ones. But most importantly, it should fit what you plan to place on top, such as a keyboard, mouse, charging station, or even a desktop monitor.
Desk mats should also offer some cushioning without being overly thick. Most are between 0.05 to 0.2 inches thick (or roughly 1 to 5 millimeters). Thinner designs are often rollable, like the Logitech Studio Series Desk Mat.
Shape and Design
Desk mats are typically rectangular to ensure a good fit and a cohesive look on most desks. Some have rounded corners, and others feature a clean-lined aesthetic.
Most are relatively simple-looking, as they're generally not considered decorative. However, a high-end design like the Leatherology Classic Leather Desk Pad can certainly enhance the overall look of your workspace.
If you plan to use your desk mat for writing, Blakey recommends a "surface that is smooth and provides grip to prevent things from sliding around." It should offer some padding without being so thick that the tip of your pen or pencil sinks in. The Ysagi Desk Mat Blotter Protector is ideal for this purpose, as it's just 2 millimeters thick and designed to protect your desk from ink stains and scratches.
You'll also find options with useful features, like a built-in charging station or customizable lighting, as with the Corsair RGB Extended Gaming Mouse Pad. "Some desk mats include organizing bells and whistles, such as cord organizers and a place to rest your pen," says Blakey.
How big should a desk mat be?
A desk mat should be big enough to fit the items you want to put on it, such as a keyboard, mouse, and charging station. While some people place their desktop monitors on top, it's not usually supposed to cover your entire desk. Smaller options are often around 24 x 13 inches, and larger designs are closer to 48 x 23 inches. You'll also find narrower mats intended for writing desks, workbenches, countertops, and built-in standing desks.
How thick should a desk pad be?
A desk pad should be anywhere from 1 to 5 millimeters thick (or roughly 0.05 to 0.2 inches). Rollable designs and those used as a writing surface are often thinner. On the other hand, desk pads that double as a mouse pad or are used for gaming tend to be on the thicker side.
Does a desk mat make a difference?
A desk mat can make a big difference, though it depends on what you're using it for and what you want it to achieve. If you're looking to protect your desk from scratches and ink stains or want your mouse to glide smoothly on a larger surface, a desk protector will deliver.
According to Blakey, desk mats also help you keep things organized while defining your workspace. "It's a great way to not let everything else take over your desk, especially since this is a space where you need to stay focused," she says.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a commerce writer and product tester specializing in home goods, lifestyle, and remote work. For this story, she interviewed Holly Blakey of Breathing Room, a professional organizer and interior stylist specializing in space design. Holland considered dozens of desk mats from various brands and retailers, narrowing them down to durable, functional, versatile designs with standout features. Holland covers home decor, furniture, organizational products, and storage solutions at The Spruce.